As the Honorary Vice Chairwoman for Sister Cities International, Second Lady Karen Pence participated in a meeting and cultural presentation of the Youth Ambassador Exchange, a program through the Houston, Texas-Chiba Sister City Relationship. Mrs. Pence met with the Mayor of Chiba-city, Toshihito Kumagai, five middle school students from last year’s Youth Ambassador Exchange program, and the teacher who served as the chaperone for the exchange program.
The annual Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassador Program is considered to be one of the most important elements of the sister city relationship. In alternating years, middle school students, along with a chaperone, visit their counterpart’s city. The meeting opened with Mayor Kumagai offering greetings from Chiba-city, Japan and Mrs. Pence offering greetings from the United States.
The meeting included a presentation by the five Japanese students who participated in the Youth Ambassador Exchange program. Mrs. Pence learned about the students’ visit to Houston last year where they met with city officials, attended classes at a Houston middle school, and toured local sights. Through the stories shared, Mrs. Pence gained an understanding of what it is was like for the students to experience home and school life in a culture different from their own.
“The Houston, Texas-Chiba Sister City relationship is a 45-year relationship, bringing together cities and people to experience each other’s culture,” said Mrs. Karen Pence. “It was an honor and pleasure to visit with the Mayor, students, and their chaperone. This was a great opportunity to represent the United States and continue the cultural relationship between our country and Japan.”
After participation in the sister city presentation, Mrs. Pence visted the Hama-rikyu Gardens in Tokyo. She was joined by Mrs. Chikako Aso, wife of Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso. Together, they enjoyed the beautiful views of the gardens. Following the tour, the Second Lady met with Mrs. Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
On Thursday, Mrs. Pence will visit the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Yokota Air Base where she will meet with military spouses.
To stay updated on Mrs. Pence’s events, follow her on Twitter at, @SecondLady.
About Houston-Chiba Sister City Relationship
The Houston, Texas—Chiba City, Japan sister city relationship was established in 1972. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) invited to Japan a Houston delegation. The delegation approached the Japan Municipal League for International Friendship to ask about partnering with a Japanese city. Houston and Chiba City identified a number of shared interests and characteristics, for example, both are important port cities with strong industrial bases. After consideration and their respective municipal approvals, on October 24, 1972, the cities executed a sister-city agreement.
Spain and Benjamin Franklin’s influence to Support the American Revolution
Join us for an event related to the important relationship between Spain and the USA! The high point of the day will be an examination of Benjamin Franklin’s Influence on Spain to support the American Revolution presented by Dr. Thomas E. Chavez.
Dr. Chavez will discuss Benjamin Franklin from his early correspondence with the Prince of Spain through his election as an honorary member of the Spanish Royal Academy of History. Franklin, whom the Spanish always referred to as Dr. Franklin, corresponded and negotiated with Spanish officials and intellectuals. The success of Franklin’s encounters with Spain led directly to the establishment of the United States and effectively hid the record of his efforts from common knowledge. A whole new and refreshing side to the story is housed in the archives of Spain.
DATE Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 3:00 to 6:00 PM
VENUE Rice University – Herring Hall, Room 100 6100 Main St, Houston, TX , 77005 832-202-5040
PARKING Self-paid parking, Central Campus Garage, under McNair Hall (Jones School of Business)
Houston-Taipei Society members and family enjoyed the Taiwan “night” market style festivities in Houston.
Where: 5885 West Point Drive, Houston, Texas 77036
Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: HTS members aim to be there at 11:00 AM if you wish to join former HTS president, Jackson Chang for a brief intro of this popular Taiwanese experience (meet at building entry), but actual festivities are from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
Additional information: Carpooling is recommended, no RSVP is needed, no admission fees. For more info visit www.taiwanyeshouston.com (info also on the HTS website www.houstontaipeisociety.org).
The Asian American Bar Associationinvited members of the Houston-Taipei Society to join them for a luncheon and panel discussion on non-profits and public sector boards. Panel includes: Danielle Bartz, Director, Boards and Commissions Mayor’s Office; Becky Jasso, Director, United Way of Greater Houston, Claudia Gee Vassar, Claudia Gee Vassar Consulting. Moderated by Mark Lee, Deputy General Counsel, AIG (invitation letter and flyer attached)
The Republic of China on Taiwan’s success by the 21st Century as a vibrant post-industrial and progressive society is the result of successful innovations in political, economic, and social regimes. Despite obstacles in diplomacy and international relations, the country’s survival and prosperity have been the result of design and in response to Taiwan’s regional and international environment. Fourteen specialists on Taiwan affairs from across the United States and Taiwan will chronicle these processes, discuss how each is interlocked, and present near-term scenarios for Taiwan’s domestic development and relations in the region and with the United States.
East West Bank/Conference Room – On the last Tuesday of each month, the Board of Directors of Sister Cities of Houston meet to discuss ongoing business and initiatives. The Board is composed of five elected members of the Executive Committee, four at large board members and one ex officio representative from each Sister City organization.
The deadline for the Sister Cities International 2017 Annual Awards is April 30, 2017. There is no fee to apply. This is a great opportunity to highlight your sister city program’s achievements and bring international recognition to your community’s contribution to citizen diplomacy.
Award categories include: •Best Overall •Innovation in Arts & Culture •Economic Development •Humanitarian Assistance, and •Youth & Education Volunteer of the Year, and Youth Leadership.
Award winners will be honored during our 61st Annual Conference in Virginia Beach, VA July 13-16, 2017. All applications are due April 30, 2017.